Cryptocurrencies – Behind the News


Welcome to the world’s newest
and most exciting currency, set to revolutionise money
as we know it. Introducing…Mattcoin. (MATT APPLAUDS) Any questions? I have a question.
Yes, you in the front there. What is it? Um, well, as you can see,
it’s a coin with my face on it. Yes, but how does it work? How does it work? Yes. OK, you need a bit more
than a fancy logo and a very impressive,
well-respected name to create your own currency. But, in recent years, lots of people really have created
their very own money – currencies that only exist
in virtual form, but can be used
and transferred around the world. And the biggest,
and most well-known, is bitcoin. Bitcoin was invented in 2008
by a programmer who wanted to create
a system of money not controlled by governments
or banks. Bitcoin works, in theory,
like an online version of cash. You can use it to buy products
and services, although, unlike the Aussie dollar,
not many shops accept bitcoin yet. Each bitcoin is basically
a computer file which is stored in a digital wallet
on a smartphone or computer. People can send bitcoins,
or part of one, to your digital wallet, and you can send bitcoins
to other people. Every single transaction is recorded
in a public list called a blockchain. This makes it possible
to trace the history of bitcoins to stop people from spending coins
they don’t own, or making copies of them. So, where can I get it? Ah, yeah. You can buy cryptocurrencies,
like bitcoin, with normal money, or create them using a computer. That’s called mining. The computers are made to work out
incredibly difficult sums, and, occasionally, they’re rewarded
with a coin for the owner to keep. It’s a lot more complicated
than it sounds. But while lots of people
have got behind it, there is a downside. While the value of regular money
is kept under fairly tight control, how much cryptocurrencies,
like bitcoin, are worth depends on how many people want
to buy them at that exact moment, and that’s what all the fuss
has been over recently. The price of bitcoin spiked hugely towards the end of last year, but has been dropping ever since. It means people who got in
really early have seen an incredible return
on their investment. But some, who bought bitcoin later,
have actually lost a lot of money. So, why should I buy Mattcoin? Yeah, you should…you should
definitely buy Mattcoin. It’s a good question. Although it’s not always stable, some people like
that cryptocurrencies aren’t regulated by governments. But there are concerns
they can be used by criminals who want something that’s harder
to track than traditional money. Bitcoin’s even been banned
in some countries. But despite that uncertainty, cryptocurrencies still have
a lot of supporters. And while some virtual currencies
have come and gone, others seem like
they’re here to stay. So, who wants Mattcoin?

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